15 miles from Salt Lake City in Utah lies the majestic Little Cottonwood Canyon in the Wasatch-Cache National Forest. The Canyon was formed due to an Alpine Glacier during the last ice age and boasts various endemic and rare plant species. The Utah Native Plant society constantly visits the Canyon’s Albion Basin and nearby locations to conduct wildflower walks. Little Cottonwood Canyon welcomes more than 1 million visitors who flock to the area to practice several activities every year.
Some of those include hiking, mountain biking, bouldering, fishing, rock climbing, and snowboarding. However, skiing is one of the most practiced activities on the Canyon, where people enjoy backcountry skiing access, particularly at the Canyon’s prominent peak, Mount Superior.
Little Cottonwood Canyon: A Popular And Classic Skiing Destination
Little Cottonwood Canyon boasts the two ski areas of Snowbird and Alta that receive a massive amount of snow each year, making the Canyon a popular and classic destination for skiing. Additionally, Little Cottonwood has more than 300 named backcountry runs, including Mount Superior, one of the most prominent peaks on the Canyon. All of that makes Little Cottonwood a perfect place for backcountry skiing. People who visit the area have the chance to explore and discover challenging and unforgettable backcountry spaces in Little Cottonwood.
It is also worth noting that the Canyon is known for its long ski seasons, which start in November, from Thanksgiving, and continue till July. The Snowbird resort in Little Cottonwood averages more than 550 inches of snow every year. Hidden Peak is Snowbird’s highest point and can be reached in 10 minutes by riding the aerial tram for 2,900 feet. People visiting Little Cottonwood must know that the Canyon is one of the most avalanche-prone roads in the states and has several steep chutes lining the north side of the road. Most of them are skiable and offer quick roadside access.
- How to get there: Take Highway 210 from Wasatch Blvd or 9400 S and follow signs for Snowbird and Alta.
What To Eat At Little Cottonwood Canyon
Skiers need some rest and soothe their teeth with some delicacies to continue to practice their favorite sport at Little Cottonwood Canyon.
- For those who love fine dining, it is recommended to try the Shallow Shaft Restaurant located in Alta.
- Another good option would be the Aerie on level 10 of the Cliff Lodge at Snowbird.
- For people who want more casual restaurants, Alta’s Goldminer’s Daughter is a delicious eatery or the Tram Club at Snowbird.
- Cost: A lunch at the Tram Club costs around $14 per person.
However, skiers must note that mixing an alcoholic shot with beer at altitude would not sound a good idea. Some skiers might need a snack while practicing their sport at Alta. Thus, they can head to Alta Java at the Albion Base area to try tasty empanadas, savor some sweets, and refresh with a coffee drink.
Another great dining option is possible at Collins Grill, located on Level 3 of the Watson’s Shelter. For lunch with scenic views, people can head to the Summit Restaurant at Snowbird, while for casual dining, it is best to try Mid-Gad. Those who are busy on the slopes can quickly order a delicious sandwich from the General Gritts deli.
Where To Stay
Skiers visiting Alta in Little Cottonwood Canyon can stay at the Alta Lodge, Alta Peruvian Lodge, or Goldminer’s Daughter for a classic experience. Those seeking more luxurious spaces can opt for a stay at The Rustler Lodge or the Snowpine Lodge, which has recently undergone a multi-million dollar total renovation.
For skiers at Snowbird, staying at the Cliff Lodge for a luxurious experience would be the best option. If they seek larger suites with living areas and kitchens, they can stay at The Cliff Club, The Iron Blossom, or The Inn. When it comes to shopping, most people at Little Cottonwood Canyon will be looking to buy ski and snowboard gear.
More To Know About Little Cottonwood Canyon
At Alta, visitors can find the Deep Powder House, known locally as DPH. The shop offers a wide variety of ski and snowboard gear.
On the other hand, Christy Sports is the shop that offers those products at Snowbird. For expert tuning and repair services, skiers can head to the basement of the Alta Peruvian Lodge. Before taking a skiing trip to Little Cottonwood Canyon, a vital thing to know is to understand what the word Interlodge means. When there is an announcement of Interlodge status on Little Cottonwood Canyon, that means that weather conditions indicate that there are high levels of avalanche danger. People will be prohibited from leaving a building or seeking shelter in a car during an avalanche.